Beth Am Synagogue, a Conservative, egalitarian, urban congregation in Baltimore, with about 460 membership units, is accepting applications for its full-time Cantor/Education Director.
Beth Am’s dynamic and progressive rabbi engages the congregation intellectually, spiritually, and musically. Shabbat and Holiday davening is rooted in traditional nusach with active congregational participation and a volunteer choir/davening team. The recently renovated building features a state-of-the art sound system, a gorgeous, historic sanctuary, and a more intimate Beit Midrash for small chapel services. There is ample and flexible classroom space as well.
The Cantor/Educator will serve as shaliach/shalichat tzibur for Shabbat and Yom Tov morning services (Siddur Lev Shalem) as well as periodic Kabbalat Shabbat and festival evening services. S/he will share in officiating at life cycle events with the Rabbi, including weddings, funerals, and shiva minyanim. The individual will direct Beth Am’s Jewish Discovery Lab (innovative supplemental education program) including hiring, training, and supervising teachers; development, implementation, and assessment of curriculum (includes Mitkadem Hebrew learning program), and student recruitment. S/he will collaborate with the Rabbi and staff/volunteers to facilitate Shabbat and Holiday youth services as well as coordinate the B’nai Mitzvah experience. Our entrepreneurial Cantor/Educator will leverage social media to recruit new member families, enhancing Beth Am’s growth and presence in the greater Baltimore community. This person will report to the Rabbi and communicate regularly with the Executive Director, staff and Board of Trustees.
Applicant Requirements: The Cantor/Educator will demonstrate an enthusiastic, inclusive approach to Jewish learning and T’filah. S/he will, have, at a minimum, a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, teaching experience, traditional cantorial training and/or experience leading davening with a wide range of Nusach/T’filah melodies, along with competence in Jewish liturgy and Tanach. The Education Director/Cantor will read music and demonstrate proficiency in teaching music for prayer and assorted tropes. S/he will possess excellent written and oral communications skills.
Preferred: Master’s Degree, Administrative Educational Experience, Experience leading a choir
For best consideration, apply by March 1, 2020
Note: Beth Am will also accept expressions of interest from candidates for the Cantor or Youth Education Director positions, individually.
Cantor/Youth Education Director Accompanying Document to Job Description
Beth Am is an urban, egalitarian and diverse congregation that welcomes Jews, those in relationship with Jewish partners, and friends of the congregation from throughout Baltimore to our majestic, historic building in Reservoir Hill. We are a 45-year-old shul in a 98-year-old newly renovated space. We synthesize traditional and dynamic prayer, exploratory learning, innovative programming and intellectual critique. We pursue justice in relationship with neighborhood residents and organizations.
Beth Am’s warm, child-friendly community and its pluralistic outlook make it a place so comfortable that many members say it “feels like home”. The congregation has long appreciated diversity of all kinds, including our openness to interfaith families, same-sex couples, Jews of Color and those who identify as part of the LGBT community.
At Beth Am, we gather to engage in community building and meaning making. We are a community of seekers who draw on the depth and rootedness of the Jewish textual tradition. We embrace healthy skepticism but resist cynicism as we lean into lives of curiosity, novelty and relevance. Our inception as a do-it-yourself shul and our unique origin story of having rebirthed ourselves in an historic urban synagogue building, means Beth Am’ers have a deep sense of place. In our community of practice, we eschew insularity and welcome newcomers with open arms. As a “House of the People,” we are an assembly of generations who gather in shared spaces to joyfully explore life’s journey in sacred fellowship. We make meaning in several areas:
Engagement and Lifelong Learning
Beth Am’ers crave thick torah, resisting platitudes or caricatures of our Biblical heroes. We are unafraid to ask big questions and unmoved by simplistic answers. We are moved mostly by applied Torah, seeking ways to map our ancient texts and traditions onto the 21st century’s most pressing challenges.
Ritual and Prayer
We yearn for opportunities to connect with a great Oneness that our Jewish tradition calls God. Familiar melodies and prayer modalities bring us comfort, but we also value the infusion of the less familiar, shaking us from complacency. We drive the tent-pegs wide and are willing to make space within our zone of comfort for the needs of our fellow daveners and for those of all generations and backgrounds. That said, we desire excellence from our leadership, rabbinic, cantorial or anyone who approaches the amud.
Neighborhood Engagement and Social Justice
Like many synagogues, we draw inspiration to work toward a more just society from our traditional Jewish sources. Unlike most synagogues, the very fact of our location in a historically Jewish, majority African American neighborhood is what motivates us to soften boundaries. We work to align our synagogue’s thriving with the well-being of our neighbors and the flourishing of our neighborhood.
Youth and Family Education
We learn, play, eat, give and serve together. As with our adult learners, we delight in the universal expression of particular Jewish values and ideals. We seek to grow not only youth learners but whole families and therefore engage in torah which is challenging and inspiring for learners of all ages and backgrounds.